Movie marketing has become more scientific and innovative, finds Campaign India.
Ubiquitous is how one can describe brand 'Ghajini'. One can find its presence across all mediums, be it TV, print, outdoor, Internet, mall activation, cinema activation and even in the advertisements of other brands! Movie marketing in India has evolved and is becoming more innovative and scientific in its approach. Ghajini is a really good example of that.
Marketing of a movie is as critical as that of a brand. Sandeep Bhargava, CEO, Studio 18 (which was behind the marketing of Ghajini) feels that there is a fair amount of films for the viewers to consume every week. Thus, it is increasingly becoming important for a film to recover money with a good beginning. In this scenario, the opening weekend becomes critical. "Marketing, at the end of the day, has to bring in viewers and then the content has to stand on its own. Marketing ensures that these films get that fabulous opening. For example, Ghajini, because of its marketing, had the biggest opening weekend that Bollywood has ever seen," he says. "But one has to remember that marketing ensures trial. This is similar to product advertising which ensures that the consumer tries the product. If the product is good, there will be repeat trials and if the product is not good, marketing and advertising can't do much for the brand," he cautions.
It is no longer just TV, print and outdoor. Most available mediums are now being used by the movie marketers. Says Maneesh Mathur, COO, P9, "Movie marketing has changed because people are now looking at the consumers. It is not just B2B marketing (for the distributors) anymore. B2C marketing has gained prominence because of specialised agencies like us. The campaigns that are being run to promote a film are 360 degree in nature. Various innovative initiatives like channel show integration (with properties like Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Bigg Boss, Amul Star Voice of India) and cricket tie-ups are happening. For example, we tied up with Neo Sports during the recent India-England series for 'Jumbo of the series' contest for the film Jumbo."
Most importantly, the film stars have become very conscious about marketing now. Says Mathur, "The stars are now actively involved. There is so much you can do when the star gets involved like specials, radio contest, integration and online chat."
But how effectively is the digital medium being leveraged? Mathur says, "There are very few producers and studios which understand the medium well. Moreover, even though the focus is on the consumers now, B2B marketing will never take a backseat. The big banner production houses are still focussed on the distributors. Online is more for the consumers and not for the distributors. So, when it comes to them, online takes a backseat."
According to Bhargava, digital is too important a medium to be ignored by movie marketers. "Most of the movie sites are created simultaneously as the film goes on floor and thus, it is updated on the basis of what's happening currently. That shows that digital is a fairly important medium. It is an engaging medium for the consumers," he says.
Foreign studios and corporate don't understand the Indian movie market well, feels Mathur. "Indian market works very differently and it will take some time for the foreign studios and the corporates to understand it. So, I don't think that the foreign studios, in particular, add anything in terms of making the movie marketing process more scientific," he says.
Bhargava feels that the marketing for Hollywood movies is not very effective as there are no specific campaigns for India. "International creatives are being adapted and the movies are not being repositioned. At most, you will see a Casino Royale or a Slumdog Millionaire being dubbed and promoted. They need to develop creatives specifically for India. It is exactly how advertising for brands works. Very few brands would do specific regional commercials. But successful brands like Coke always do advertising in regional languages featuring local film stars . That should be done in the case of Hollywood movies marketing too."
What it means for…
- Good marketing strategy ensures a good opening weekend for the movie
- More marketing initiatives are possible if the star of the movie is involved like specials, radio contest, integration and online chat
- There are very few producers and studios which understand the digital medium well but most agree that the medium needs to be leveraged properly
- Hollywood movies need to develop movie marketing creatives specifically for India and not adapt the international ones